RESPONDING TO VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND PUBLIC ATTACKS ON PROFESSIONALS WHO WORK TO PROTECT THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN
We, the undersigned organizations, strongly condemn the continuous violation of the human rights of women and children victims of domestic violence and the public intimidation of professionals who act in accordance with the law and the ethics of their profession in the best interest of child victims/witnesses of domestic violence.
We especially condemn the public attacks on the court expert in the field of psychology, Ms. Nevenka Pavličić, who, due to her professional involvement, is continuously exposed to attacks and public insults from those persons and organizations that support perpetrators of violence against women and children with impunity. We condemn the previous and current attacks on representatives of the judiciary who act in these cases and we demand their protection.
For a long time, our organizations have drawn attention to the passivity of institutions when it comes to protecting the best interests of child victims/witnesses of violence. Due to insufficient consideration and untimely and inadequate response to the risks that partner violence carries for the safety of children and their psychological recovery, institutions enable violent parents to continue to perpetrate violence even after divorce, using children as weapons by challenging contact with their mothers.
Earlier public intimidation of those professionals who protect the best interests of victims and their children, their exposure to attacks by an angry and unprofessional public opinion and the absence of adequate protection by the state, have already led to the fact that a large number of those whose duty it is to provide protection child victims/witnesses of family violence themselves feel unprotected. This sometimes results in inadequate acting to the detriment of the best interests of the children.
The state leadership actively contributed to this situation, by granting a harmful pardon to a perpetrator of violence who has been cheating the justice system for years, disobeying court decisions and depriving his children of contact with their mother.
This gesture, unfortunately, encouraged other perpetrators of violence to act in the same way, violating the rights of children and non-violent parents and attacking professionals without being called to responsibility. The state is obliged to urgently eliminate the consequences of such a decision and to provide protection to those professionals who resist the pressure and act in accordance with the law and the ethics of their profession, including Ms. Pavličić.
We call on the state prosecutor’s office to urgently prosecute the perpetrators of these attacks and all those who spread hate speech and invite and create an atmosphere of public lynching against victims, professionals and defenders of human rights.
We demand the immediate initiation of proceedings against all those who violate the human rights of victims of violence, especially children, by publishing confidential data, photos and videos of children and all those who do not act in their best interest.
We ask the Government of Montenegro to show determination and zero tolerance for violence and empower professional human rights defenders who act in accordance with the best interests of women and children victims of domestic violence!
NGO “Center for Women’s Rights”
NGO “SOS Telephone for women and children victims of violence” – Podgorica
NGO “SOS Telephone for women and children victims of violence” – Nikšić
NGO “Center for Roma Initiatives”
NGO “Queer Montenegro”
NGO “Women’s and Children’s Rights Network”
NGO “Safe Women’s House”
NGO “Montenegro Women’s Lobby”